Arms of Almendros, Spain


Granted 1988

Blazon: Per pale or a Calvary cross sable, in chief a Marian monogram azure and argent two almond trees eradicated in pale vert

The sinister half is almost certainly intending to be canting; the name of the town means “almond trees” in Spanish. The cross may be a reference to the local church (Invención de la Santa Cruz), although that’s speculation.

Arms of Ebergassing, Austria


In use since at least 2009

Blazon: Per endorse argent gules a boar’s head couped or and gules a sunflower of the third, overall in base water barry wavy of the first and azure

Unfortunately, I can’t find any information on these arms. There are digital records going back about a decade, and very little else. I’m not even completely sure the second charge is a sunflower. The town was owned by a number of noble families over the years, including Trauttmansdorff, Thonradl, and von Trattner, but I couldn’t find any credible overlap between their arms and those of the town.

Arms of Barletta-Andria-Trani, Italy


Granted 2010

Blazon: Per fess azure three molets of six points or and paly of four the last and gules

The grant of arms was approved by the provincial administration in June 2010, as sort of a “first birthday” marker for the new province, which had its first elections held in 2009. Oddly, for a fairly recent coat, there’s not a lot of information on the design decisions. I am very tempted to attribute the three molets to the fact that the province has three capital cities, but admittedly, I have no proof of this. (And yes, I know the molets in the depiction here have eight points, but the blazon specifies six.)

Arms of Obernau, Germany


In use since at least 2010; possibly since 1300

Blazon: Azure three eagle’s heads erased argent, armed or, langued gules

There is some kind of connection between these arms and the ones often attributed to the thirteenth-century poet and author Hartmann von Aue. It doesn’t seem like Hartmann had his own arms, but he’s often depicted in later manuscripts as bearing the same arms as shown here. My intuition says that the three eagle heads probably belonged to an unknown nobleman (von Aue?) who was involved both with the village of Obernau and also a patron of Hartmann, but I have absolutely nothing to back that up. It’s also possible that these are, in fact, Hartmann’s own arms, and the town adopted them as a nod to a favored son. However, there’s significantly less documentation than I’d expect in that case, so I’m not really sure what to make of these.

Arms of Geoffrey de Geneville


(1225/33 – 1314)

From the Dering Roll (c. 1270-1300)

Blazon: Azure three horse-barnacles expanded or, on a chief ermine a demi-lion rampant issuant from the partition line gules

There is an actual crustacean known as the horse barnacle (Semibalanus cariosus), but 1. the depiction here doesn’t look anything like an actual barnacle and 2. they are native to the northwestern Pacific, so absolutely nowhere near England or France, where they were mostly featured in heraldry. What this charge actually depicts is a slightly more complicated question. It was possibly originally a farrier’s tool to hold horses’ muzzles closed, but it does seem to have been used as a torture method in a few instances. In one of those cases, that of Sir Henry Wyatt, the family allegedly incorporated a horse-barnacle into their arms as a symbol of their loyalty to the Tudors.

The Genevilles, or Joinvilles as they were known in France, don’t seem to have a dramatic origin story for their arms, but there are plenty of other notables in the family to make up for any shortfall. Geoffrey’s older brother Jean de Joinville wrote a very well-known chronicle of the life of Louis IX and the Seventh Crusade, commissioned by Jeanne of Navarre. Geoffrey arrived in England along with Eleanor of Provence when she came to marry Henry III, and was later involved in a number of important negotiations, including with Llewelyn ap Gruffudd. He also traveled widely, going on diplomatic missions to Paris and participating in the Eighth Crusade. (No word on whether Jean warned him that was a terrible idea.) He had an exceptionally long life for the period, so it’s perhaps not surprising that his eldest son predeceased him. Upon his death, most of the Geneville titles and lands (plus the de Lacy properties Geoffrey inherited from his wife Maud) passed to Roger Mortimer via his wife Joan de Geneville, Geoffrey’s eldest granddaughter. She did eventually get her inheritance back after Roger’s execution for treason.

Arms of Iestyn ap Gwrgant


From Encyclopedia of Heraldry by John Burke and John Bernard Burke (1844)

Arms of Iestyn ap Gwrgant (1014 – 1093)

Blazon: Gules three chevronels argent

The Burkes’ description of Iestyn as “tributary prince of Glamorgan” and “founder of the fifth Royal Tribe” is a little overstated, but at least he existed. He was the last ruler of Morgannwg (which did include Glamorgan, so partial credit, I guess). Unfortunately, the story goes, he had a dispute over land with one of his rivals and invited the Normans in to help settle the matter. The Normans decided they quite liked Morgannwg and decided to stay, and Iestyn was overthrown by Robert Fitzhamon, lord of Gloucester in 1090. His son retained a small part of Iestyn’s territory, and his descendents became the lords of Afan. These arms are most likely a retroactive attribution, since they are the present-day flag of Glamorgan and also feature in the arms of Cardiff; Iestyn’s life and reign was significantly before the provable use of heraldry in Wales.

Arms of La Almarcha, Spain

La Almarcha

Granted 2009

Blazon: Per fess argent the pool of Airón proper and per pale vert and gules a sheep statant of the first.

The chief half of the arms depicts the “well,” pool, or lagoon of Airón, which has some very weird legends attached to it, including worship of an indigenous god of the underworld, human sacrifices, and one noble who tried to drown two dozen concubines in the lagoon. (One of the prospective victims tricked him in return, and he ended up drowning instead.) These particular arms were granted in 2009; it looks like the town bore a different coat in 1991, including the lagoon, but with a sunflower and the cross in the base half.


Arms of Eberau, Austria


Granted 1980

Blazon: Azure a hazelnut between two branches issuant from a demi-wheel of twelve spokes in base or

The municipal arms are apparently a combination of elements from three noble houses that were prominent in the region. The hazelnut is apparently from the Ellerbachs (the depiction provided looks more like an acorn to me, but more on that in a minute), the demi-wheel is from the Erdödys, presumably related to the Hungarian-Croatian Erdődys, and the branches are presumably from the arms of Bernhard, although I cannot find a corroborating depiction. The acorn may have been changed to a hazelnut for canting reasons; the town was initially named Monyorokerek, which means, roughly, “hazel circle” in Hungarian.

Arms of Bari, Italy


Granted 1938; probably in use since the early 19th century

Blazon: Per saltire azure and argent a croizer palewise or

The croizer is a reference to the area’s patron saint, St. Nicholas – yes, that St. Nicholas. The arms seem to have a fairly long history, as does the province itself. It was founded as a justiciarship in 1231, and continued its administrative existence as a province/district/territory under various Italian kingdoms. I’m not completely clear on when these arms came into being, but it seems likely they remained relatively consistent throughout Bari’s history.